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emphasized because of the attacks on free financial markets in the wake of the recent financial crisis, which is falsely blamed on too little government control of them, when in fact the problem is too much government intervention.

While free competition is widely accepted as something good in general terms, few understand why it is a vital principle, something which this report has endeavoured to address. Partly for that reason, most people who embrace the principle in general terms are far too eager to accept deviations from that principle, A lack of understanding the principle of free competition makes it easier for the special interests to have their way. By understanding this principle - and indeed by understanding Frederic Bastiat’s classical principle of looking beyond the immediate effects of policies - it will be easier to identify policies in the general interest.

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